The 2022 Mercedes-Benz C-Class embraces the softer side of compact luxury

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Luxurious automakers spend loads of time shouting about how sporty their compact sedans are in a race to the highest of a digital efficiency mountain. However the 2022 Mercedes-Benz C-Class zags the place the opposite zig, acknowledging that loads of automotive consumers need consolation and luxuriousness in a smaller footprint, and it fills that want relatively properly.

The C-Class will get a redesign for 2022 that introduces the brand new era as a sedan, with no phrase but on when coupe and convertible (not to mention a wagon) variants could observe. It maintains styling much like its predecessor, however revamps the inside dramatically and provides a number of new mechanical adjustments as properly. I spent a day with the sedan round Los Angeles, to see what sort of impact these huge updates had.

Like most new automobiles, the C-Class has grown for this new era. It’s 2.5 inches longer and 0.4 inches wider, with an inch longer wheelbase. The added size helps the brand new sedan look sleeker than it did beforehand and the cabin seems to be pushed farther again to make the hood longer and provides the automotive extra athletic proportions. The 2022 C-Class borrows a grille and two-piece tail lights from the smaller CLA-Class, however that’s about the place the similarities between these two automobiles finish as the larger automobile seems way more grown up and distinguished.

2022 Mercedes-Benz C-Class

2022 Mercedes-Benz C-Class

Initially, the C-Class retains issues easy and is simply provided in C300 guise powered by a 2.0-liter turbo-4 with a 48-volt mild-hybrid system offering extra enhance. The gasoline engine produces 255-hp and 295 lb-ft of torque, whereas the hybrid system provides one other 20 hp and 148 lb-ft briefly bursts. Rear-wheel drive comes customary, with all-wheel drive out there at a $2,000 markup. A 9-speed computerized is the one out there transmission and the brand new unit is smaller, 30% lighter, and extra environment friendly than the 9-speed it replaces. The transmission does its job properly, by no means seeming to hunt too lengthy for gears and responding rapidly to the paddle shifters. If there’s one quibble I’ve with it, it’s that it doesn’t maintain gears properly sufficient when shifting robotically within the Sport and Sport+ modes.

Mercedes has paired this mild-hybrid system with a number of totally different gasoline engines, however that is the primary time it has been used on a 4-cylinder and it makes a extra noticeable distinction when paired to a smaller displacement engine. The hybrid system’s affect is most felt at decrease speeds, smoothing over the fixed stops and begins of metropolis driving a lot and including to the C-Class’ total feeling of luxuriousness. At greater speeds, the digital instrument panel lets you realize when the hybrid system is kicking in however it’s in any other case tough to detect as many of the passing energy comes from the gasoline engine. 

Beneath, the C-Class’ air suspension has been swapped out for a multi-link unbiased suspension with adaptive dampers. My check automobile additionally got here with the AMG Line package deal, which provides a sport-tuned model of that suspension. In essentially the most aggressive drive settings, the sedan nonetheless feels prefer it might go up a notch in stiffness to higher management physique roll. However that may come on the expense of some experience high quality and that runs counter to the purpose of the C-Class. It’s potential to have enjoyable from behind the wheel, however not as a lot as you’ll have in opponents just like the Alfa Romeo Giulia, BMW 3-Sequence, and Genesis G70. The counter argument to that’s that they will’t match the C-Class’ serenity or its new, expertise laden inside.

2022 Mercedes-Benz C-Class

2022 Mercedes-Benz C-Class

2022 Mercedes-Benz C-Class

2022 Mercedes-Benz C-Class

2022 Mercedes-Benz C-Class

2022 Mercedes-Benz C-Class

A pair of enormous screens comes customary, a 12.3-inch show within the instrument cluster and a vertically oriented 11.9-inch central touchscreen that’s subtly canted towards the driving force for simpler viewing and reachability. These screens are surrounded by a brand new dashboard design that evokes the Mercedes S-Class and even the brand new EQS in some methods. This affiliation upscales the look of the C-Class much more, and the inside feels one step above the competitors.

The most recent model of the Mercedes-Benz Person Expertise (MBUX) powers the screens, and it comes with  customary wi-fi Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, over-the-air updates, and a voice assistant that’s activated by saying the phrase “Hey Mercedes.” Additionally out there are a head-up show and an augmented actuality video function for the navigation system, each of which have been added on the top-line Pinnacle trim that I drove.

2022 Mercedes-Benz C-Class

2022 Mercedes-Benz C-Class

The expertise of utilizing this method jogged my memory of the EQS in loads of good methods. It’s snappy and fairly to have a look at, however I did discover a number of variations that make it a bit extra cumbersome. The primary is that the display screen is a hair smaller than the usual EQS display screen and the local weather controls that line the underside of the display screen by no means actually go away, reducing down the usable space. The augmented actuality navigation additionally takes a beat too lengthy to pop up and that’s an issue whenever you’re approaching an intersection with no concept which strategy to go. Mercedes confirmed that the C-Class has much less processing energy than the EQS (which does not endure from the identical issues on its Hyperscreen) and that may very well be a contributing issue to the lag.

The C-Class’ inside feels fairly roomy for this phase, particularly for backseat occupants that may draw the brief finish of the stick in lots of opponents. Although the cabin sits farther again, the roof stays flat lengthy sufficient to offer grownup ample head and leg room in again. 4 individuals might experience comfortably on this automobile for a protracted, lengthy stretch if that’s the case desired.

2022 Mercedes-Benz C-Class

2022 Mercedes-Benz C-Class

If the C-Class has a caveat, it’s pricing. The Pinnacle trim I examined begins at $48,550 for a  rear-wheel model, however tack on extras and the worth climbs rapidly. My tester stickered at $62,520, an enormous value for a automobile that doesn’t have an “AMG” in its title. For that cash you’re going to get essentially the most luxurious expertise and luxury that this class affords, however it’s a step up from the bottom engine costs within the phase. 

The 2022 C-Class goes on sale this spring.

Mercedes-Benz dropped off a 2022 C-Class at this editor’s condominium for Motor Authority to deliver you this firsthand report.

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